Recent Posts

Fire Mitigation to Reconstruction

1/19/2021 (Permalink)

The term “mitigation” is used by fire damage restoration professionals to refer to stopgap measures to keep conditions from worsening until cleanup takes place at a building in Lake Charles, LA.. For the best outcome, a commercial property owner should rely on a one-stop-shop to mitigate, clean, and restore commercial fire damage.

Mitigation Limits Damage

Mitigation measures limit the severity of secondary damage resulting from primary fire damage. Based on the severity of a fire and the suppression methods used, mitigation may involve any of the following measures:

  • Boarding up holes in walls or windows
  • Extracting standing water from fire hoses
  • Tarping over holes in roofing materials

The goal of mitigation is not to eliminate the effects of fire damage. Instead, these measures are helpful for managing moisture levels and keeping out debris and trespassers.

Cleanup Eliminates Damage
The shift from mitigation to fire damage restoration involves a change in priority from preventing damage from getting worse to taking measures to improve the condition of a structure with fire damage. Ash and soot may be removed by sweeping or vacuuming the affected area. Restoration professionals recommend disposing burned, singed, or melted materials and contents. Surfaces and items that have only sustained smoke or soot damage may be cleaned.

Restoration Continues Until Completion
Rebuilding a damaged location and finishing measures such as smoke cleanup are restoration tasks. Professionals who specialize in restoring fire damage can recommend treatments for stained surfaces or items to keep signs of damage from resurfacing over time.
Managers and owners of commercial properties should rely on fire damage restoration professionals located near Lake Charles, LA. It is a good idea to seek out a company that provides mitigation, cleanup, and restoration services. Estimates and schedules that are issued by a single service are more likely to be accurate than assessments by more than one mitigation, cleanup, and restoration companies.

Steps to Restoring Your Lake Charles Property After Flood Damage

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

We will walk you through every step for your Lake Charles flood damage.

Flash flooding is common in urban areas, and it usually occurs after heavy rain. In Lake Charles, about 490 addresses are situated in FEMA’s 100-year floodplain. This means that there is a one percent chance of flooding taking place in the properties built in the floodplain in any given year.

Flooding creates a frustrating situation for property owners. Fortunately, by taking the right steps, it is not hard to restore your Lake Charles property after flood damage. If it is safe to enter your home, you can start the flood cleanup process by doing the following things: 

  • Wear protective attire like watertight boots, rubber gloves, and safety glasses or goggles.
  • Discard porous materials such as foam rubber and padded furniture.
  • Throw out exposed food, medicine, and drinks.
  • Document the damage by taking photos or videos.
  • Wipe down wooden items.
  • Clean hard surfaces with a solution of hot water and soap.

Cleaning up and drying a flood-damaged property is challenging. You may need special tools like air movers and dehumidifiers to dry the affected surfaces. Some parts of your home may also need to be rebuilt, or soaked materials like carpeting and drywall may need to be removed, discarded and replaced. The other items you may need to replace include drapery, clothing, and ductwork. Therefore, it is advisable to hire a flood damage restoration company like SERVPRO to assist you with the remediation process.

When we get to your residence, we can conduct a detailed inspection using devices like moisture meters, infrared cameras, and moisture sensors. These devices enable us to track moisture within a building. After assessing the destruction, we can come up with the appropriate restoration plan. Floodwater can bring all kinds of solids in your property. We can use a self-priming trash pump to extract the water mixed with solids. We can also use power washers to remove muck or mud on the exterior parts of your home.

After extracting the water, your walls and floors may look dry, but they are still wet. Porous building materials can hold moisture that can make them swell or warp. Our SERVPRO technicians can manipulate temperature and humidity using dehumidifiers and air movers so that drying occurs much faster.

Cleaning floors, walls, and other affected surfaces is also essential. During a flood, sewer lines can leak wastes that may end up in your property, threatening your health. Our team can clean your home using disinfectants that destroy 99 percent of microorganisms.

When you need flood cleanup services in Southwest Louisiana, call SERVPRO of Lake Charles for help. Our 24-hour emergency helpline is (337) 478-1133. We can make the loss appear “Like it never even happened.”

To see more about Lake Charles, click here.

Fires: Staying Safe

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage according to the National Fire Protection Association. The most frequent causes of fires in dryers are lint/dust (29%) and clothing (28%). In washers, they are wire or cable insulation (26%), the appliance housing (21%) or the drive belt (15%).

Dryers were involved in 92% of the Washer/Dryer fires; the risk of fire was basically the same for both gas and electric-powered dryers.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to handle all of your fire damage restoration needs.

Safety tips:

  • Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
  • For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
  • Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
  • Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
  • Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.

What to do after a Fire

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

Residential and commercial fires are unpredictable and can be devastating.

Hopefully you have given thought to fire prevention for your home. In addition to taking these steps, you have also developed an escape plan with your family. In the unfortunate case of a serious fire, would you know where to turn after the fire crews leave?


SERVPRO of Lake Charles, (337) 478-1133, is the simple, effective solution. We'll respond quickly and get to work restoring your property.


One of the first steps in our fire damage restoration process is the inspection.

Without proper and careful inspection, we cannot be sure of risk factors in the environment, the extent of damage, critical utility locations, and numerous other important factors. Inspection can sometimes be a lengthy process, as SERVPRO inspectors have to look for and catalog many different factors.

Here are some of the things that we look for in homes that have taken fire damage.
 
Structural Instability
 
One of the most important considerations when inspecting fire damage is structural stability. Fires, as they burn through supports and other structural components, can create unstable conditions and high potential for collapse. Our technicians look for signs of structural weakening to ensure the safety of both you and SERVPRO technicians, such as warped walls, burned columns, caved-in ceilings, buckled door frames, and scraping between doors, windows, and their upper frames. Any of these may be an indicator of a weakened structure, so knowing of them before any work begins has the potential to save lives.
 
Spots for Tarping and Boarding
 
Immediately following inspection, our crews move in with tarps and boards to seal up any windows, doors, or holes in the home that leave it open to the elements. Inspectors look for these openings and compose plans to seal them most effectively.
 
Damage Inspection
 
Of course, the central part of any fire damage inspection is what has been hurt, and how much. Inspectors will catalog items, surfaces, and areas which have taken damage, describing in detail for our other teams how bad the situation is and what factors caused it. From there, our technicians can work to apply appropriate cleanup processes and measures. If you have used our ERP (Emergency Ready Profile) system, this process may be greatly accelerated as our inspectors will have access to plans and inventory lists beforehand.
 
SERVPRO of Lake Charles works with you to get fire damage cleaned up quickly, cheaply, and with the minimal safety concern. Call us at all hours at (337) 478-1133

Busted Pipes? Here's what to do:

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

Three Steps to Take When You Discover a Broken Pipe

A broken pipe can cause extensive damage within a matter of minutes. Bursting pipes can swiftly flood a commercial property in Lake Charles, LA.. This damage may be significant even if someone is on site when a pipe breaks. Severe flooding can take place if a pipe break occurs while a building is unoccupied. A property owner, manager or any occupant who discovers a broken pipe can take three steps to minimize damage.

  1. Contact a Plumber

Plumbers have the tools and expertise necessary to fix broken pipe. It may take some time for a plumber to arrive. In the meantime, there are several measures that can limit the extent of damage caused by a pipe break.

  1. Shut Off the Water Supply

Bursting pipes tend to be supply lines. It is possible to slow and eventually stop the flow of water by turning off the main water valve. This valve is typically located on the water pipe where piping enters the structure. A valve is often located near the water meter. Building owners and managers are likely to be aware of this location. It is a good idea to inform occupants who may be in the building at other times about the location of this valve. Relieve remaining pressure in pipes by turning on a faucet.

  1. Try To Limit Damage

Collecting water in containers can limit the extent of damage to building materials. Try to use garbage bins or other containers with wheels that will be easier to move than heavy containers which require lifting. It is also a good idea to start removing water with any equipment available on site, such as towels, mops or a wet vac.

After bursting pipes have been fixed, a property owner or manager should immediately arrange for mitigation and restoration. Contact a company that specializes in commercial water damage in Lake Charles, LA.

A Couple of Ways to Extinguish a Grease Fire

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Grease fire in kitchen Fire damage restoration is a service that SERVPRO of Lake Charles specializes in.

One of the most common types of kitchen fires is the grease fire. As oil and grease collect on your stovetop or inside your oven, it presents an increasing risk. When you're heating food or preheating your appliance, the oils get closer and closer to their flashpoint. This is the temperature that it takes for the oil to burst into flame.

What To Do and What To Avoid

One of the most crucial things you need to know about putting out a grease fire in your home is to NEVER put water on that fire. Water doesn’t mix with oil; instead, the water will sink below the oil, and as it evaporates, the moisture sends burning oil throughout your kitchen. Instead of using water, use one of the following techniques:

  • Cover the flames with a metal lid. The seal between the dish containing the burning oil and the metal lid must be tight enough to prevent oxygen from reaching the flames.
  • Pour baking soda or salt over the fire. Baking soda puts out the flames because it contains carbon dioxide, cutting off the oxygen supply. You'll need a lot of baking soda. Keep a #10 can or one of the big boxes from the laundry aisle. Salt absorbs heat, and you'll only need about one cup to put out the fire.
  • You can avoid a lot of trouble and damage when you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. It's important to have the right type of extinguisher, however. You could choose a multipurpose extinguisher; just be sure there is a B or K in the label.


There are several things you may have in the kitchen that can make matters worse. For example, do not use flour, baking powder, or sugar. The chemical reaction between these ingredients and the grease will make the fire worse instead of better. Some people suggest draping a damp cloth over the flames. However, if any water from the cloth drips or splashes onto the flames, the fire may explode in your face.

Get Help When You Need It

As soon as you feel that the grease fire is out of your control, call 911, and make sure that members of your household safely leave the home. If your home suffers any damage, contact fire cleanup professionals to handle repairs.

24/7 Emergency Response

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

When a client in Lake Charles, LA., files an insurance claim, insurers know they need to rely on storm, fire, or water damage restoration specialists that are faster to any size disaster. Waiting for help to arrive can quickly lead to additional damage and rising costs. Instead of hoping to hear back from a company, have confidence in immediate assistance by relying on a trusted company that is Here to Help any time of the day.

Local Franchises

SERVPRO has more than 1,700 franchises, which allows its team of professionals to jump into action the minute they get the call. No matter where the disaster happens, commercial services available include:

  • Water damage restoration
  • Fire damage restoration
  • Mold remediation
  • Cleaning services
  • Storm and major events
  • Disaster recovery

Knowing that your emergency response team means working with professionals from the community also provides additional peace of mind. Being local means they care and are dedicated to ensuring everyone is satisfied with the restoration results. In addition to the local benefits, there is an additional bonus of each franchise being backed by a nationwide network. SERVPRO of Lake Charles works closely with national and local insurance companies, which boosts communication and makes the claim process easier for everyone involved.

Dedicated Professionals
Along with being faster to any size disaster thanks to a 24/7 emergency service, the people arriving at the disaster scene are certified professionals trained in property damage restoration. Along with employee certification training, technicians are required to be certified through the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Training and certification are ongoing to ensure no matter where help is needed, the team answering the call has the latest skills to get a business back to “Like it never even happened.”


When clients need help, it is vital to get assistance from a trusted company that is faster to any size disaster to avoid downtime, rising repair costs, and further damage.

How to Avoid Water Damage

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Water can enter your home in many ways and end up damaging the foundation. To fight back against water intrusion, take preventative measures both on your home’s interior and exterior. Here are essential tips to safeguard your home’s exterior from water:

       Roof

  • Check your roof to ensure the shingles, flashings or tiles aren’t missing, broken, cracked, curled or damaged in other ways.
  • Make sure the vents, flues, chimneys, air conditioners, and evaporative coolers are properly installed and in good shape.
  • Check for leaks around rooftop air-conditioning units, vents for exhaust or plumbing, or other specialized equipment.
  • Cut tree limbs that hang above your roof so they don’t cling to shingles and trap moisture. Leaves or twigs can also clog your gutters.  

       Gutters and Downspouts

  • Ensure these are clean, free from debris, and in good condition so that water can flow freely.
  • Install metal screens to prevent leaves, twigs, silt and other debris from clogging the gutters and drainage holes.
  • Ensure downspouts direct water at least five feet away from your home’s foundation. Install downspout extensions if needed.

       Doors and Windows

  • Check for leaks near the corners of your doors and windows. Signs of leaks include peeling paint, paint discoloration or swollen frame.
  • Protect exterior doors and windows from the sun, rain, and snow by installing overhangs above them.
  • Close your doors and windows to check for a tight fit. Look for cracks between the sash and frame of your windows.
  • Repair or replace damaged flashing or weather-stripping around windows.

   Walls

  • Check and repair cracked or broken siding boards, bricks, stone or other masonry, as well as structural sheathing.
  • Seal any openings from wiring, plumbing, phone, cable, and heating and air conditioning lines with foam or caulk. Repair any damaged or unpainted wood surrounding these openings.
  • Check for signs of termite activity on the walls and the wooden structures around your foundation. Termites can eat wood, plaster, and even metal siding.
  • Ensure that the exhaust vent doors properly open and close.
  • Remove any shrubs and other landscaping features from along the walls.
  • When irrigating the garden, avoid directing water towards the house to prevent excessive water near the foundation.

For professional water damage repair or mold removal service, call SERVPRO of Lake Charles @ 337-478-1133

Unanticipated Water Damage

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it is the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call us, we will ask questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring. This includes how many trained SERVPRO professionals we may need.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here for you 24/7 all 365 days of the year. Call us at (337) 478-1133.

Safety Precautions when dealing with Black Water

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification sets standards for professional members of the cleanup and restoration industry. According to the IICRC standards, black water damage cleanup must involve specialized equipment, supplies, and techniques. Why is this so important?

Compare "black" to other categories.

  • White water is clean and safe to consume. It is fresh from the tap.
  • Gray water may contain soap, fats, oils, hair, and bits of human skin. It is what's leftover after cooking, washing, and bathing.
  • Black water often contains hazardous chemicals, pathogens, human waste, and animal feces. Flood water is almost always considered black.


Once you know what's in the water, it's easy to understand why flood cleanup and mitigation professionals would take extra precautions. What do professionals do to keep your family and themselves safe while cleaning up the watery mess?


Assessment

Before any work begins, water damage cleanup and restoration professionals will inspect and assess the damages. This is a necessary step that helps technicians prepare the most appropriate supplies and equipment, as well as providing you with an idea of how long the job may take.

Containment

One of the next steps will be making sure that contaminants and other hazards from the water aren't spread throughout the rest of your home. This may involve laying down plastic sheeting, and the situation may also require some testing of your plumbing system to be sure your drinking water isn't contaminated.

Protection

Technicians may don personal protective equipment, including gloves, protective goggles, boots, and other clothing that prevents contact between the technician and contaminants in the water. It's important that you recognize the precautions that technicians take. Keep your family safe by staying out of contaminated areas of the home until it is safe to return.

When your Lake Charles, LA., home is affected by flooding, make sure you take necessary steps to avoid coming into contact with black water. Contact professionals right away to clean up water damage and provide any necessary reconstruction services.